Friday, June 13, 2008

This and That. Normal first time bloom and Giants.

First, the normal first time blooming flower, Cobweb Houseleek, Spider Web Hens and Chicks, Sempervivum arachnoideum. We bought this last summer, stuck it in the ground and voila, flowers this spring. We have a dry tough spot to grow plants, right under the mailbox so we thought a succulent might fit the bill and it has. I didn't expect to see flowers so this is a treat.

On with the GIANTS!

We have two Jack in the pulpits, Arisaema triphyllum, blooming now and they are huge in comparison with the other ones that bloomed earlier this spring. As you can see in the pictures both top 3 feet. The maroon plant is larger. One source says that A. triphyllum grow to 30-65 cm which is approximately 2' 2" tall. I guess our plants should have giganteum added to the Latin name.

Last year my newly planted Thalictrum rochebrunianum grew to 3' tall with a wonderful spray of pink flowers. This year it is at 8'- 2" and still growing! 4-6 feet tall is the information given on several websites. It must really like where it's growing but I wish it would have topped out at 3-4 feet so we would at least have a chance to glimpse the attractive flowers.

If you look closely you can see the 3 feet yardstick next to the plant.

You can see the tip of the yard stick at the bottom of the photo.

Who knows, next year, taller than the Douglas firs in the background?


Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Huh... my cobweb sempervivum is blooming for the first time, too. I just put it in this spring. Do you think it's a particularly flower-prone variety of hens and chicks, or are we both lucky?

Those Jacks are way cool. I wish I could grow some of those around here.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kim,
If I remember correctly, I saw a cobweb hen and chicks blooming on someone's blog last year so it may be a especially flower prone variety. I don't know if you can see it in the photo but the plants are quite elongated - maybe 4" long. When we first bought it, it looked like small button cactus.

I'm sure you can grow Jacks. They're hardy to zones 3 or 4. I know IBoy in Iowa has a great collection of many different exotic ones. I don't remember where I obtained these giant ones but they come up very late, about a month later than my regular ones.

Thanks for stopping by.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Abby said...


What a beautiful weblog. The photographs are so clear, you don't have to enlarge them. And so many different plants and flowers.

May I put a link on my own blog, to make it easier to visit you?

12:35 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Abby,
Thank you very much for your kind words. Absolutely, feel free to add my link and I will add yours to my list as well. I have been bogged down by many other commitments lately but I will visit your blog for a longer stay than the quick look I can manage now. Thanks for stopping by.

6:01 PM  
Blogger kate smudges said...

The Jack-in-the-Pulpits are so exotic looking and tall! I had no idea that this Thalictrum reached such heights ... mine of this variety only grows to about 3 to 4 feet, depending on the amount of rain we get. The Sempervivums are beautiful in their flowers.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate,
I was very surprised the Thalictrum continued to grow past last year's height. 3-4 feet tall would have been ideal. At least you would be able to see the flowers. But at 8 feet and growing I'll need a ladder to see and photograph the plant when it blooms. And those jacks continue to surprise me - I've never seen any that tall before. Thanks for your comment.

4:00 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

I bought a cobweb sempervivum this spring but had no idea it could bloom, Ki! Your post and Kim's have opened my eyes... although since the individual rosettes on mine are barely quarter size, it may be a long time before any flowers appear.

Eight feet thalictrum? My Thalictrum rochebrunianum hit 5 feet one year in Illinois and that seemed tall. It would be odd to look up at the flowers - sort of like being Alice when she ate the 'grow smaller' side of the mushroom.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

10:21 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Those sempervivum flowers must have been a lovely surprise. I am now getting into succulents and will see how these fare here. Agaves and aloes do wonderful here, ni=oit sure about echeveira and sempervivum.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie,
I recall seeing some bloom last year on someone's blog. I bought the plants because the cobwebs looked unique but I didn't expect flowers much less flowers on almost all the cobs (I don't know what to call them). Interesting too that they don't remain compact but elongate several inches before they bloom. I wonder what happens after the bloom?

I'm not liking the extra tall growth of the Thalictrum. I bought some other varieties and hope these will remain at a reasonable 3-5 feet height. Still kind of a neat plant though, with those rounded leaves in layers.


Hi Nicole,
For some strange reason I don't remember seeing very many succulents when we lived in Hawaii. Agaves and aloes for sure but no hen and chicks. I wonder if you need a cold period for these to grow well??

The flowers were a very nice surprise because they sort of snuck up on you. One day they're not there and the next when you go out to pick up the mail, ya ha!

3:37 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Ki I am not sure whether its the weather or if its because of, as a rule, I have found that most people in tropical countries don't care for succulents!

6:05 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

That's an interesting observation Nicole. We always want the unusual eh? Why plant something that will grow easily? My parents living in Hawaii planted a tiny aloe vera mainly to treat burns. However it spread over a number of years to occupy an area of 10 feet by 3 feet. I guess they never thinned it out because it was a hot and dry spot with almost full day sun and difficult to grow anything else. It also produced numerous spikes of flowers so it turned out to be an ideal plant for the location. With the full sun though, the leaves were a dusky pink color instead of the bright green indoor plants.

I don't know if desert rose can be considered a succulent but that's another plant that grew well there. We nursed along a small plant indoors in NJ but my dad had plants about 3-4 feet tall but skinny not obesum like the name indicates - Adenium obesum. Our indoor plants were obese. ;)

3:43 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I am laughing out loud Ki, because what you've described is exactly what I have observed in so many tropical countries-aloe vera plant, aloes and agave planted in areas where nothing else will grow, no attention at all given to style or even watering, desert rose because its a flower.
It seems part of the reason is that a lot of people (including many Americans, until fairly recently) strive for an European style garden. Thus the striking, architectural forms of succulents aren't appealing to them. I can certainly tell you that in the Caribbean the majority of people strive for the European look, with clipped hedges, or the American suburban yard, with a big lawn! Conversely, according to anthropologist Desmond Morris, the European style garden is the result of a primal urge in Europeans to recreate the look of the plains of Africa where humans first roamed!

4:48 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Nicole, Interesting about the European garden being a recreation of the African savannas. Nothing is new, we just go around in circles :) Me, forget the plains, I want the jungle! Away with the grass.

7:07 PM  

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